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Active living opens doors

Dorothy Westerman
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 14/05) - Inclusion is the key to a full life for persons with disabilities.

"It improves health and social life," said Joan Hirons, chairperson of the Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability. The Alliance was developed to raise awareness among people with disabilities that active living improves quality of life.

The goal of the organization is to increase activity levels in people with disabilities, she said.

"It can be gardening, cooking and just getting up of the couch and doing something," she said.

Funded by Health Canada, the organization gets $5,000 in grant money a year to spend in the Territories.

It also occasionally gets funding through Health and Social Services and from contributions from Municipal and Community Affairs to stay afloat, she said.

Currently, eligible citizens may apply for two grants before the end of December, Hirons said.

One grant provides $500 toward the purchase of adaptive equipment, such as telephones with large numbers or three-wheeled bicycles or a treadmill.

The other grant is for the buddy program, Hirons said.

This will provide reimbursement for a supportive companion to help an active living companion to attend an active living program or event with a person who has a disability.